Friday, June 21, 2013

Your Letters

Dear Halima

I am afraid to put myself out there in the dating market, I am a shy person that is true however my biggest fear is that I will get rejected by white men. As a young woman I have always noted white men looking at me and then they look away when my eyes meet theirs. I think there could be attraction there but I don’t think they allow themselves to find us attractive and this is the number one hindrance to us coming together. But am I imagining things?

Richard Gere and Diana Ross hit the dance floor

Let me first address the issue of white men not allowing themselves to find black women attractive. There is a lot of truth in that observation. There is the belief that people just get overwhelmed by their feelings of attractions, that it just overrides their resistance. I think this idea comes straight out of Mills and Boons! Most people fall in love over a time and after an initial attraction (which is the start point). It means then that if a man feels an attraction but doesn’t allow himself to go down that route the relationship that would have been will not be.

One key thing to realize about white masculinity (yes we can analyze white masculinity just as we can black womanhood) is that it is rewarded and privileged for sure but it is only rewarded when white male actions fall within the acceptable range of behavior marked out by wider interest-forces! Most of us are of the impression that white male privilege is unlimited and unrestricted, that white men can go anywhere and do anything. This is a myth. White men have privilege and domination as long as they act and behave in the way that is acceptable for the white male to behave.

I believe one of the reasons why there is such a deep attraction to Rap music among white males is that it allows them to live the hyper- masculine dream vicariously. They are attracted to the rap thug because they recognize that they are not allowed to express such dominating and unfettered masculinity, the ones they see black rapper males indulge in, without severe sanctions to themselves, especially their ability to earn a living. It has become even worse in the current gender political state and the rise of a very aggressive thuggish strain of feminism that requires the very debasement of the white male before it is appeased. Many white males are actually giving in to the demand to self flagellate, identify masculinity and maleness as evil and the root of all that is wrong with the world and even to go as far as self loathing because this is the only way they can be admitted into certain circles or even secure their jobs (for instance tenure in many universities in America that have become open to only people of certain ideological persuasions) in many institutions in the West.

Coming back to the issue of white males and attraction to black women, you can be sure that many men have a moment hesitation and ask, how will this affect my ability to earn a living. Even if these men are free to pursue black women without any repercussion (because society has moved on for instance), it is the perception of this 'being one of the things that might hinder me' that becomes the reality that holds them back.

When some white men see an attractive black or other woman, they can respond to her physically but they also are aware on some level of how easily pursuing such a path could loose them their privileges and social endorsements. It might not be true that they will come under sanction as I have said, however many do not want to test out their fears!

Things are changing and white men are also acting independently of ‘endorsed’ notions of behavior in addition some white men work for themselves or work in ways that allows them to have freer choices than what is expected of them. The passing years also brings maturity, independence and maybe a stronger backbone to many of these men, others have to go through life to eventually figure out what is really important thus we expect and often see an increase in white men who are seeking or open to black women now in the ages over 35 (the restructure of the society we live in and the loosening of social taboos also means the younger ones are now also freer to make choices that those one generation up feared to make).

One of the reasons why I encourage black women to be out there in the dating market place is that by the sheer logic of numbers she will eventually find that white or other man who combines a willingness to date out with an attraction to black women and maybe the right social and economic situations or independence of mind that will allow him to pursue that option. Shyness might just be making it hard for you to build up the numbers from which you would logically expect to find a couple of white (and other) men of this mindset.

Follow up question 7th July

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ak said...

All of what you've said here is true Halima. This is why other websites have mentioned how good white women have had it because feminism was the final nail in the coffin that they needed to make sure that they had white men exactly where they wanted them.

It's always been true that acceptance from young white men is what put hip hop/rap on the map in the mainstream and you're right the hypersexual machismo is what they wish they could carry on with in the post-feminist age.

Evia's post from recently about more seasoned white men was entirely correct and is totally fine by me because I'm getting on in years myself and I'd want a man who's more settled, mature and financially ready than a 27 year old who still needs to find his feet and save up a lot in order to ready for marriage far down the line.

Asian women have more successfully upset the apple cart for white women because of the acceptance of their own femininity and gentility without showing a more aggresive and obvious agenda.

E.A. said...

Shyness really is no hindrance - believe me, LOL! I'm probably the shyest person I know, but I think that in general men LIKE this if you're brave enough to at least carry yourself with a smile/open facial expression! It definitely sets you apart. I've had [white and other races of] men look at me as if they were pleasantly surprised that I wasn't the loud and brawling stereotypical Shenaynay, but spoke softly. I've been overwhelmed to have a conversation that started off asking for the time from a complete stranger turn into an invite for coffee, and I couldn't figure out what I did to get it! Don't be shy ... wait, DO be shy, and just put yourself out there! :)